The Expectations We Bring
You will cradle the small of my back, draw
my tongue, my flesh, to your mouth, bring
me to the edge of death, of life, each night.
Laughing, we’ll prepare roasted peppers,
transparent layers for spanakopita,
swordfish coated green with pesto,
and talk while our children play.
I will massage your long-muscled
back, read you to sleep, soothe you
when nightmares or fevers come.
You will always love me; we will say
each other’s name as prayer
and the answer to prayer;
I will listen to your every word,
even those unspoken.
But what of nights when my skin grows
cold, your muscles plaited, our names
catching in clenched throats?
Thank you to the editors of MPC Anthology VI for first publishing this poem.